Gardening > Snowdrops
General Information:

Snowdrops are one of the earliest blooming of all spring bulbs.  With a mild
Ohio winter, Snowdrops will begin to bloom in early January.  They are
supposed to bloom late winter or early spring.  Snowdrops grow 4 to 6 inches
tall.  They have small white flowers that drop down toward the ground.  They
are usually considered hardy in zones 3 to 8.  Dormant bulbs are planted in
the fall.  Plants may be transplanted in the spring.  Snowdrops grow well in
full sun to partial shade.  They like rich, organic, well drained, soil.  
Snowdrops grow naturally in a woodland type of setting.   They will be done
for the year before many trees develop leaves.  There are many different
varieties of Snowdrops.  There are slight variations in the markings on the
flowers, the size of the plants, and the shape or color of the leaves.  
Snowdrops are often listed under the technical name  "Galanthus".

Growth and Propagation of Snowdrops:

Snowdrops grow from small bulbs.  Once established, the bulbs multiply
rapidly.  The bulbs form offsets that will grow into full size bulbs in another
year.  Most people will divide their Snowdrops about every 3 years.  Unlike
other bulbs, Snowdrops should be divided after they are done flowering, but
while the stems are still green.  This will allow the bulbs to re-root
themselves before going dormant.  This in turn will give you a better survival
rate.  The dormant bulbs prefer a well drained area that does not completely
dry out for an extended length of time.  They grow naturally in a woodland
type of habitat.  Snowdrops can also spread by seed.  

It should be noted that snowdrops bloom very early spring or late winter.  You
might want to plant them near the entrance of your home.  Most people spend
little, if any, time in the back yard during the winter.  

Snowdrops should be divided after they are done flowering, but before the
leaves die off.  The bulbs, with green stems attached, should be dug up and
planted 2 to 3 inches apart.  They usually recommend planting them around 3
inches deep.  They should also be planted close to the depth that they have
been growing at.  This may require a compromise in planting depth.  Be
careful not to damage the roots when transplanting.  Water the patch well
after transplanting to settle the dirt around the roots.

Safety Considerations:

The early blooming Snowdrops will attract bees.  This would not be a good
thing if you have an allergy to bees.  This is a great thing if you grow fruits or
vegetables.  The fact that flowers attract bees must be considered when
planting near entrances, and along walkways.  I personally recommend
against planting any flowers directly around mail boxes.

It should be noted that Snowdrop bulbs, and plants, are considered poisonous.
 Gloves may help to prevent irritation or allergic reactions from the plants.  
You should also wash your hands well after handling the plants or bulbs.  The
benefit is that rodents and deer will normally leave the Snowdrops alone.
Gardener's Supply Company
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This page was developed to share my gardening and landscaping experience
with others.  The site contains only general information on different plants.  I
do not guarantee all information to be accurate.  I do not accept any
responsibility for anyone's growing success.  Please consult with your plant or
seed supplier for detailed planting instructions.
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Above:  Snowdrops on 3-23-08